We are back looking at some of the common old wives’ tales that still exist in some parts today. This is an oldie but goody. The tale goes something like this: If a baby doesn’t fall off the bed or couch by the time they are one year old they will have a short life.

Thank goodness this isn’t true, but it is an often occurrence. Babies fall off of beds and couches all the time. It is one of the things pediatricians talk a lot about in our anticipatory guidance on well checks from about the time they are four months old until about a year. Falls account for a significant amount of injuries in early childhood as well as a huge expense in emergency department bills. We go out of our way to prevent them from happening.

All old wives’ tales have some sort of basis and it is my feeling that this one came out of the need to calm a crying mom down. The baby had fallen out of the bed and mom was freaking out and thinking that she was the worst mom ever. Granny steps in and tells her “if they don’t fall out of bed by the time they are one they will have a short life.” Crisis averted, now mom doesn’t feel nearly as bad. Her child will now have a long life due to the accident and all is good. The problem is that as this was passed down some people actually started to believe that if they didn’t fall off the bed they were going to die quickly. Then we started having grannies push the babies out of the bed on purpose. I have actually had this happen and have had two broken arms over the last 16 years.

Please do not push your baby out of bed on purpose. Yes, it will happen often enough on its own, but let’s still try to prevent it.